He’s no boxer, but 13-year-old Sean Bartolucci is celebrating a knockout victory that Rocky Balboa would be proud of: He battled cancer -- and won.
On Sunday, Bartolucci, wearing a “Keep Calm And Fight On” t-shirt (his motto over the past few months), followed in Rocky’s iconic footsteps by climbing the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. When he got to the top, the teen raised his arms in triumph.
It was a poignant moment.
Bartolucci, an eighth-grader at Pennsylvania's Camp Hill High School, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2014. Since then, the teen has reportedly undergone multiple surgeries, several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and a stem cell transplant.
Bartolucci’s family says the teen had vowed to run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art -- a move made famous in the film “Rocky,” which starred Sylvester Stallone -- once he was cancer-free.
"What a great moment to get him here, not just the steps -- it's monumental -- but the journey he's been on the last 18 months. He fought hard," his mother Michele Bartolucci told WPVI-TV.
His dad Chris told The Patriot-News that the run up the stairs was like “putting an exclamation point at the end of all of this crap.”
"Now [Sean] can be a kid again,” he said.
Bartolucci has reportedly been cancer-free for several months.
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